Future Frontier

jedion357's picture
jedion357
May 8, 2013 - 4:40pm
EDIT NOTE: I've renamed this thread based on the direction of discussion


I've been perhaps watching too much Firefly because the kids have been playing it and perhaps spending too much time of late with my nose buried in the Stars Without Number rule set which is to a certain degree Firefly-ish. It has me thinking about the Frontier in less pollished terms more broken down and less connected where a lot less can be counted on. More Firefly-ish.

What would make the best cause for a break down of the UPF? Something where a tramp freighter could wander around and have Firefly like adventures, lots of shooting, scrambling for parts and jobs and not knowing what will happen when you set down on a planet?

War is obvious I suppose and if the UPF looses we perhaps dont want the other side to really win either.

Plague? possible but I'm not that in favor of it though since the premise is to ape Firefly/Serenity perhaps the plague should be an element and give us some Reaver.

Ancient alien involvement- Tetrarchs are obvious here- PGC delved to deeplying into the ruins on Laco and unleashed something that impacted the whole sector.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

jedion357's picture
jedion357
May 19, 2013 - 4:16pm
Isn't there an issue with the solar wind knocking air atoms out into space as well?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Ascent's picture
Ascent
May 20, 2013 - 11:06am
TerlObar wrote:
It's not that the atmosphere wouldn't rise very high due to the low gravity, it's that it would rise too high and escape into space.  The gravity of the planet is such that the escape velocity is below the mean motion velocity of the gas and it just flies away.
Indeed. Along with solar winds that strip anything beyond the magnetic field.
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iggy's picture
iggy
May 19, 2013 - 7:18pm
Both are in effect.  The gravity must be strong enough that the atmospheric gases do not reach escape velocity and the magnetoshpere must shield the atmosphere from the solar wind.  If either is not present the atmosphere will be lost to space.  If Earth's gravity was too low the atomsperic gasses would escape even with our magnetosphere.  If Earth's magnetoshpere were stopped the the solar wind would strip away our atmosphere even with with our gravity.

I have never calculated how high the gravity would have to be to resists the solar wind and keep a breathable nitrogen oxygen atmosphere.

BTW, is spell check broken on the site?  It never reports spelling errors for me now, and I have to hand correct.
-iggy

jedion357's picture
jedion357
May 19, 2013 - 8:18pm
wouldn't terraforming a planet that could not keep its atmosphere be a losing proposition? You melt the ice to help make the atmosphere but it fritters away into space; net result less water on the planet.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

iggy's picture
iggy
May 19, 2013 - 8:57pm
Yup!  Firefly overlooks this with all of the terraformed planets and moons.  You have to belive the system is a goldilocks system with all planets near 1G and tectonically active.  Or you have to believe they have some super tech that allows you to increase the planet's gravity and heat up it's core.  Then also believe that they do not have comperable super advance FTL travel.
-iggy

jedion357's picture
jedion357
May 19, 2013 - 9:25pm
iggy wrote:
Yup!  Firefly overlooks this with all of the terraformed planets and moons.  You have to belive the system is a goldilocks system with all planets near 1G and tectonically active.  Or you have to believe they have some super tech that allows you to increase the planet's gravity and heat up it's core.  Then also believe that they do not have comperable super advance FTL travel.


I think the trend in Science fiction these days is to overlook inconvienent scientific facts in favor of exciting stories. Joss Wheadon and Firefly being one example the first Chris Pines as Captain Kirk movie being another. Yes you can probably site a laundry list of movies going back 25-30 years that did similar things but I think these two are very recent examples of a trend toward story over believability. Certainly at this point they could have gotten it right but clearly they were interested in simply telling a cool story thus its possible for Spock to see the destruction of Vulcan from the surface of Delta Vega with the apparent distance between the two planets being that of the earth and moon.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
May 20, 2013 - 3:16am
Recent Trend? I believe the overwhelming majority of Sci-Fi stories miss some key points or just gloss over them for the sake of the story. Otherwise they call it Hard Sci-Fi.

Or dig you really think an X-Wing fighter was capable of hyperspace jumps?
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
May 20, 2013 - 5:28am
My feeling is that in the two named movies there was a decision to just tell a story and science be damned. I dont think that attitude truly characterizes much of what has gone before. Yes a lot of what has gone before has done this same thing but this feels different. I get the feeling that in the past someone pointing out the science problems would have illicited an explanation of "Well... we're trying to balance making a movie and the science..." but now I get the feeling that the directors of these movies and show would simply laugh as that as they just dont care about balancing story vs science, their only concern is story.

You are quite correct that science fiction has been frought with problems relating to science fact. I just think that there is an evolution of attitude on the part of some people producing Sci Fi.

I sat in the theater and mentally noted a lot of problems with Abram's movie but the story was good and I went along with it for the ride and enjoyed my experience. And I think that is what Abrams was after-entertaining an audience; science schmience.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Ascent's picture
Ascent
May 20, 2013 - 11:10am
Yeah, Battlestar Galactica also tended to hand wave gravitational and atmospheric differences.
View my profile for a list of articles I have written, am writing, will write.
"It's yo' mama!" —Wicket W. Warrick, Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi
"That guy's wise." —Logray, Star Wars Ep.VI: Return of the Jedi
Do You Wanna Date My Avatar? - Felicia Day (The Guild)

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
May 20, 2013 - 12:13pm
Since we've been talking about it, this video was timely (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7ZqMTBwFVs).  It talk about how the Earth's atmosphere escapes.  For smaller planets (lower gravity) or those with weaker magnetic fields, the effect is faster and molecules heavier than Hydrogen and Helium can escape.
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jedion357's picture
jedion357
May 20, 2013 - 12:40pm
Well that was brief, and surprisingly I feel smarter even after a one minute video.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
May 20, 2013 - 1:57pm
Well maybe we can forgive Flash Gordon (Buster Crabbe) for bad science but Space 1999, explain that one?
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

jedion357's picture
jedion357
May 20, 2013 - 5:56pm
rattraveller wrote:
Well maybe we can forgive Flash Gordon (Buster Crabbe) for bad science but Space 1999, explain that one?
Space 1999 was the victim of some really bad writers but they did present a realistic looking moon base and the Eagle lander was just awesome for its utilitarian practical look. It was easy to imagine at the time that there would be a moon base just like that and landers like the Eagle. The longer the show went on the worse the scripts got which is the downward spiral of lets cut money and wow this show is now sucking so lets cut it. Still the look of the space suits and the models was great. To me is seemed that SPace 1999 had come on the heals of the Apolo missions and benefitted from that on the art side- writing side- typical studio mismanagement. Try and watch the latter seasons- they are awful.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
May 21, 2013 - 3:15am
The hard science problem with Space 1999 was not the look of the show or the equipment but the idea that the moon was travelling through space so fast it was finding a different solar system every week but somehow hanging around long enough to explore it.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

Jaxon's picture
Jaxon
August 4, 2013 - 12:22pm
Plague worlds could be a source of Reavers.  I guess SF would need a bunch more sparsely populated colonies/terraformed moons to really capture the FF flavor.
[/quote]

SWEET IDEA! I like this for my next adventure.

Jaxon's picture
Jaxon
August 4, 2013 - 12:28pm
iggy wrote:
Yup!  Firefly overlooks this with all of the terraformed planets and moons.  You have to belive the system is a goldilocks system with all planets near 1G and tectonically active.  Or you have to believe they have some super tech that allows you to increase the planet's gravity and heat up it's core.  Then also believe that they do not have comperable super advance FTL travel.

Not true. In FF, one of the episodes Mal steals medicine from a train. Come to find out, the terraforming created a reaction that released a compound that affected the people, they wasted away - lungs, muscle, etc. The people needed the medicine and the Government gave it to them every month. Remember the sheriff "I got it and I have never step foot in a mine." So some of the systems are not goldilocks and are not perfect. It's a matter of how to tweek them to have a down side.

iggy's picture
iggy
August 4, 2013 - 2:29pm
Goldilocks also refers to the optimal distance of planets from their sun where they are not to hot and not to cold.  Firefly ignores this and puts the planets all over the place.  There is also a minimum planet size to hold an atmospere and a miximum planet size after which the atmospere is too dense.  The firefly system is so extreemly lucky in placing so many planets and moons at just the right distance and as just the right size that science fiction becomes science fantasy.  I like firefly and wish they had not canceled it but after a few times rewatching the series this begins to bother me.
-iggy

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
August 27, 2016 - 6:48pm
rattraveller wrote:
The hard science problem with Space 1999 was not the look of the show or the equipment but the idea that the moon was travelling through space so fast it was finding a different solar system every week but somehow hanging around long enough to explore it.


There were hints within the show that the moon had been subjected to some sort of electromagnetic and/or gravitational phenomenon that was cyclic in nature.  The phenomenon was responsible for the intial explosion at Disposal Site 1 where the spent fuel rods were somehow brought to a reactionary state (likely a fusion explosion).  The explosion reacted with the underlying weird phenomenon to tear a warp in spacetime through which the moon travelled.  The other end of the warp was natually pulled into another solar gravity well and the moon exited.  The phenomenon would then essentially recharge until the warp would repeat.  Think of it as a "slinky" effect to visualize it.

Handwavium?  Sure.  But at least it's decent handwavium.

rattraveller's picture
rattraveller
August 29, 2016 - 1:17pm
While they did have a few strange episodes that tried to explain things Space 1999 was in the era of non continuity in which each epidsode was self contained and very little carried over to future episodes.

A remake (why not they have remade everything else) would have a much longer story arc with us finding out the explosion was planned and done to someone's benefit.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

JCab747's picture
JCab747
August 29, 2016 - 1:40pm
rattraveller wrote:
While they did have a few strange episodes that tried to explain things Space 1999 was in the era of non continuity in which each epidsode was self contained and very little carried over to future episodes.

A remake (why not they have remade everything else) would have a much longer story arc with us finding out the explosion was planned and done to someone's benefit.


Yes, I had seen stories that the remake would have the imaginative title of "Space: 2099," but it doesn't seem like it ever got off the ground.
Joe Cabadas

ChrisDonovan's picture
ChrisDonovan
August 29, 2016 - 1:53pm
The rights holders won't even allow a remastering project.  Too bad  too.  I've seen the sample work and it's GORGEOUS.